How did the saber-toothed tiger hunt?

Sacred-toothed tigers are often equated with the genus Smilodon. ” The fault of several complete fossils dating back 50,000 to 10,000 years old found at the La Brea Tar Pits Deposit, in Los Angeles he explains Nariman Chattar. She is a PhD student in the Department of Geology at the University of Liège (Belgium).

though,” Sword-tooths have appeared many times throughout terrestrial history, sometimes in very distant groups. “The convergent evolution here,” recalls Geraldine Ferron. She is Professor and Curator of Mammal Collections at the National Museum of Natural History (MNHN) in Paris.

herbivorous; Tiarajudens are eccentric, 260 million years ago, it wore a pair of extremely elongated blade-like fangs, just like an ancient fossil herring! Nariman Chattar’s thesis focuses on comparing this affinity between cats and Nimravids. The latter are also called “false” saber-toothed tigers. In this context, I and a team of Belgian and North American researchers analyzed the mechanical aspects of their bite. The latter could give serious clues about their hunting methods…

Skull of Barbourofelis fricki and scan-generated 3D model. This species has the most impressive canines in the entire data set.
Credits: Nariman Chattar, University of Liège.

Saber-toothed tigers: a big mouth for big teeth

First, the PhD student had to collect as many high-resolution scanners as possible for her 3D models. survey of fossil animals (Smilodon And barbophiles, whose canines exceeded in length those of the first), but are also particularly contemporary with the contribution of the MNHN groups. ” I wanted to best represent contemporary cats. I took notes from the smallest, the ruby ​​cat, to the largest, the leopard Nariman Chattar says. In total, the doctoral student had 1,074 analyzes related to 17 different classifications. Then she had to start recreating the muscles of the animals. For this, she directed They are introduced at the bone level based on the scientific literature on the subject Once the models were ready to use, all he had to do was test bite them at different angles: 30 degrees, 60 degrees, and 90 degrees in this case.

See also  This critically acclaimed sci-fi game is coming in July

Narimane Chatar noted three parameters noted in the output. Among them, I noted a decrease in pressure at wide angles for saber-toothed animals. expected result. And so he was suspected Smilodon To extend the mouth more than 110 degrees! These opening abilities served him to kill large prey. ” The large size indicates that the bones are less likely to encounter the saber teeth when biting. A crucial point when you know that these elongated teeth were also very thin, and therefore fragile! Nariman Chattar asserts. As for the other two teachers the doctoral student taught, their values ​​surprised them…

saber-tooth tigers, fossil, hunting, teeth

Nariman Chattar holds in his hands molds for the jaws of Smilodon fatalis (left, 100% printed) and Barbourofelis fricki (right, 80% printed).
Credits: Nariman Chattar.

Read also: Animal physiology: The strength of the saber-toothed tiger lies in … its paws!

Show me your teeth and I’ll tell you how to fish

The force applied to the bite point and the resulting deformation of the mandible showed no visible trends between each species. “Nariman Chattar offers. In other words, there will be no saber-toothed animals on one side and felines on the other side.” This lack of clear separation indicates a continuity between these different predators, with hunting methods we might not even imagine. Geraldine Veron says. Today, similar canines can serve different functions. This can range from cranial piercing practiced by tigers to choking practiced by lions and tigers.

Reconstructing the saber-toothed tiger’s hunting technique is all the more difficult because there is no modern equivalent. It has long been believed that all species should hunt in the same way. However, this idea is now highly controversial. ” It’s tempting to imagine these predators hunting in packs. This is a remarkable way of controlling their majestic prey more easily. ”says Geraldine Veron. Once the victim is on the ground, the risk of breaking his fangs during a bite will be much lower.

See also  Age, diet, and awareness... Three things to know about colon cancer screening

Smilodon fossils showed traces of fractures that prevented any type of hunting. However, these individuals survived and eventually recovered from their injuries. So the group had to take care of them Adds Nariman Chattar. But that would be like forgetting other specimens of saber-toothed tigers. In particular, there is a type barbophileswhose bizarre skeleton reminds us of the structure of a plant plant … We are therefore reminded of the conclusions of the study conducted by a doctoral student: it is never easy to determine the way of life of animals that disappeared in the distant past.

Also read: Fossil of a giant panda with its sixth finger discovered

You May Also Like

About the Author: Irene Alves

"Bacon ninja. Guru do álcool. Explorador orgulhoso. Ávido entusiasta da cultura pop."

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *